Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Other Guy: Imagine if A-Rod had "acted" the way Derek Jeter did last night?

Maybe I was wrong about Derek Jeter being a bad actor. After all, his master thespian performance at Wednesday's game, where he pretended to be badly hit by the ball, not only got him first base, but it got Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon thrown out of the game for protesting.

I was out at dinner in Manhattan last night, so I missed seeing the play live. When I was heading home, I talked to Squawker Jon, who saw the play on TV and said that either Jeter was really hurt -- or really faking it! Jon thought Jeter was doing the latter.

Since then, I watched the clip (go here if you haven't seen it.) Let me tell you something --  it just goes to show what I have been saying  for years whenever Alex Rodriguez was caught in an on-field controversy, whether it be the slap play, the Ha play, or the "get off my mound" debacle. And that is that if Derek Jeter had done any of the so-called "bush league" things A-Rod had gotten lambasted for, writers and fans would be praising his gamesmanship, quick thinking, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to win.

Just take a look at what happened in the Yankees-Rays game. Jeter, who has been slumping for the last three months, took the opportunity to get on base, even though he didn't deserve to be there in that situation. When Chad Qualls' pitch hit Jeter's bat, and made a cracking noise, the captain writhed around like he got hit by it, and then literally doubled over in pain. Because of the whole dog-and-pony show Jeter put on, home plate umpire Lance Barksdale awarded Jeter first, which proved crucial when Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer to briefly put the Yankees ahead. Ultimately, thanks to Phil Hughes serving up another homer to Dan Johnson, Tampa Bay won the game.

Jeter readily admitted in the postgame that the ball hit the bat, and not him:
Jeter, smiling slyly during his postgame exchange with the media, made no apologies for capitalizing on the opportunity.

"Well, (Barksdale) told me to go to first," he said. "I'm not going to tell him I'm not going to first. I mean, my job is to try to get on base."

Asked if he was responding to the vibration from the ball hitting the end of his bat or acting when he shook his arm, Jeter said, "Vibration. And acting. Both."

Let's review. Jeter, the manmany fans consider to have the most integrity of any player in baseball, pretended to be hit by the pitch, and he wasn't. His getting awarded first base could have been the deciding factor in the game. Then he smiled in the postgame as he not only admitted faking the whole thing, but essentially blamed the ump for falling for his act. And to top it all off, media admiringly praised his act. One example -- Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger wrote that Jeter "pulled off a performance worthy of adding another item to his trophy case: an Oscar," and said the struggling shortstop "applied a Shakespearian interpretation."

If you changed Derek Jeter's name to Alex Rodriguez in this scenario, do you think there would be one bit of positive press thrown A-Rod's way? Do you think anybody would be praising Alex's gamesmanship, great acting, quick thinking, and willingness to win? Of course not.

Look, it's not that I'm against what Jeter did last night. Good for him. He's been struggling, and the Yankees have been slumping. He wanted to get on base by any means necessary. You know, kind of like the way a struggling A-Rod tried to get on first to get something going for his team in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.

But it just goes to show  that Jeter, the person treated as a living saint by many Yankee fans, can be just as guilty of committing a so-called "bush league" play as A-Rod. Of course, when the captain does it, it's great baseball, but when A-Rod does it, it's a crime against humanity. As Billy Wagner would say, shocker!

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Matt Warden said...

I was not impressed by his actions. Whether it's flopping in basketball or soccer, or any sport, to me it comes across as unsportsmanlike.

You are right though. If Derek's name was substitude with Alex's, the s*#& would have really hit the fan.

Anonymous said...

Or AJ Pierzynski. I agree that the inconsistently is the biggest thing to take out of this.

Uncle Mike said...

Okay, let's review: When the Yankees needed Derek Jeter to get on base, he did; when the Yankees needed Alex Rodriguez to get on base to keep the game alive in the 9th, he didn't. He struck out, stranding the tying and potential winning runs.

Was Jeter dishonest? Yes. But then, this was hardly the same thing as the violence the Rays perpetrated in that spring training game in 2008. At the absolute most, we're even, and I have no problem with Jeter putting one over on those (use your expletive of choice)s. They had it coming, and that would be true if A-Rod had done it.

Of course, he couldn't do it. He picked a hell of a time to turn back into the A-Rod of 2004-08. And he'd better turn back into the A-Rod of 2009 if the Yankees are going to repeat that performance.

And, Matt, who cares whether it would have hit the fan? As Herman Edwards taught us, "You play to win the game."

Matt Warden said...

UM - The point of this entry, as I understand it was not so much a critique of Jeter's action so much as the hypocrisy of treatment among players (in this case, the captain and A-Rod). I guess some people don't care if there are double standards and I'm guessing you're one of them.

Personally, I think it's nonsense. I also am not a huge fan of manipulating the rules. I don't think that shows a whole lot of class.

Also, in terms of being "even" with the Rays, I'm not sure I buy into that line of reasoning. I do not believe two wrongs equate to a right. Instead, you just have multiple occasions of poor umpiring and judgement.

One other note - as long as your lambasting A-Rod for his performance, you should at the very least keep in mind his actual performance rather than anecdotal assumption. He's 3rd in the league in RBIs and is batting .294/.313/.439 with RISP. With two outs, he's batting .292/.378/.385 with RISP. That's not to shabby.

Subway Squawkers said...

Whether or not A-Rod came through in the ninth inning is irrelevant, especially given his great RISP numbers this year, as Matt noted. The real story is that Mr. Play the Game the Right Way did something that would be considered shady and unsportsmanlike if it were done by A-Rod, or, as Symphony notes, A.J. Pierzynski, or Manny Ramirez, etc. etc.

Again, I have no problem with what Jeter getting an edge that way. I do have a problem that the very same people who repeatedly castigate A-Rod for when he tries to get an edge.

And (turn on handwringing mode) what about the children? Will they now be pretending to be hurt when they're not, because they saw their role model do it? You know that's what be hearing today if A-Rod did this. But because it's St. Jeter of the Bronx, such arguments will be forgotten.

BrooklynGirl said...

I didn't have a problem with what Derek did last night. It happens in baseball; I've seen guys jump around pretending they got hit in the foot when replays show it did not.

I agree that if ALEX had done the same thing he would be vilified in the media and on talk radio for being "bush league". But Jeter was just trying to get on base so the way he did it is ok.

Years ago, John Gotti was known as the "Teflon Don"; well up in the Bronx there is a guy who is the "Teflon Captain".

Anonymous said...

How did I know that Lisa would have a blog post on this ...LOL...very predictable...

I'm off to Baltimore this weekend ..hoping to see CC & Andy cage those birdies ...

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

NAM said...


Is that you Peggy??? How are you? I have not checked out Lisa's site all season. I hope you are doing well?

Isn't this ridiculous about Jeter. I thought he was so cute in the locker room interview after the game. You should have heard the Ray's announcers. They went on the rest of the game about it.

Have a great Baltimore weekend. I hope you are having a great summer - well of course you are - your Yankees are in the thick of it. My Sox are the walking wounded.

Take care,

Subway Squawkers said...

Peggy, it was also predictable that you would chastise me for my article! ;)

And Noreen, welcome back! We were talking about you in the comments section a few weeks ago!

Uncle Mike said...

Lisa, since when did failure to come through in the 9th inning with men on base become "irrelevant"?

And as long as the subject of double standards has been broached, if it had been a BOSTON RED SOCK who'd done it, the national media would be we're-not-worthying him 'til the cows come home. Tell me I'm wrong about that!

Anonymous said...

Its irrelevant to the topic at hand.

NAM said...

Hi Lisa,

Thanks! I don't where I have been. It has been a crazy busy year for me. And even though the Sox have been in third place all season, I have enjoyed it.

Mike, how are your nieces? They must be in high school by now!

Uncle Mike said...

No, but they just turned 3, and we took them to a Somerset Patriots game a few weeks ago. They even got to run the bases after the game! Ashley liked it, but Rachel really loves baseball. I just hope that when they're old enough to be taken to Yankee Stadium, it doesn't get to where I can't afford it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nam ....

I haven't posted much either but I do read just about every day. I noticed you hadn't been around ...good to see you again (or should I say read you again). I realize it's been a tough year for the Sox and their fans. I can't stand this losing that's been going on for the past two weeks with the Yanks. I'm still pretty confident we will be there in the end tho'. I'm sure next year it will be Yanks/Sox as usual ..

Personally I've been living in a hotel for 5 months as my house had a fire. Thankfully no one was hurt and hopefully I'll be back home in a few weeks. Can't complain this summer with FREE A/C 24/7..saved me lots of

Lisa ...I just don't know why you have to compare everything Alex/DJ. You have a much bigger problem than they do with it. I love them BOTH ..I agree it would have been much harder on Alex but in all honesty and for the most part it's because of Alex and his past. There is NO comparison to Alex and DJ's pasts. I'm so thrilled how Alex finally got it the last two years ...he's been dare I say I'm sure you love that Lisa ...LOLOLOL. Anyway ...I'm much older than you so I get to chastise .. :o)...respect your elders young lady ..haha

Everyone for a 10 game win streak ...shout Hip Hip Jorge!!! ...

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

Subway Squawkers said...

Peggy, I'm really sad to hear about your house fire. I know from personal experience how devastating that is to go through. What a nightmare! Hope you're back in your house soon!

NAM said...

Hi Peggy,

I am so sorry about your housefire! What a nightmare! I hope you get back in your newly improved home very soon. I am so glad no one was hurt.

I will check in through the post season to see what is happening; not that I have given up hope (sigh!).


Your girls sound darling! How lucky they are to have you dote on them and teach them the important things in life.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lisa and I said it could have been much worse. I actually just suffered smoke damage and damage to walls and floor in two rooms. I just rent and thankfully I had the forsight to have renter's insurance which is paying for my hotel stay. I really didn't lose anything in the was just one big inconvenience. I could have stayed with family and friends but I'm use to being on my own so I was happy I could stay at the hotel. I have a computer, TV, small fridge and microwave plus a comfy King size bed ..all the comforts of home. In truth I'm at the point that I want to get home to my six rooms tho' ..tired of of the one room Hopefully just another week or two.

Lisa ..did you suffer a fire too?

Anyway ...I hope everyone was safe from the horrible weather yesterday. It felt like the earth was coming to an end for about 15 minutes or so. Not much damage in my area but lots of damage in other places.

I'm off to Balti to cheer the boys on ...Go AJ, CC and Andy ..

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

Subway Squawkers said...


Yes, I did, back in the nineties. Fortunately, I had renters' insurance, too. I am a huge advocate of it, and don't get why so few renters spend the money for it. My current policy is around $200 a year, well worth it for the peace of mind -- and financial protection -- if a disaster happens.

Anonymous said...

Lisa ...

We may not agree on the DJ/Alex comparisons but we certainly do regarding renter's insurance. I only pay $125 a year and it's the best $125 I ever spent (I only had it a year when the fire occurred).

I'm happy we both didn't have a worse experience...thankfully we are both here to tell our tale.

Have a good weekend ...I'll give the guys an extra cheer for you..especially Alex... :o)

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

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